ROANOKE, Va. -

Virginia's Tax-Free weekend on school supplies, clothes and shoes is happening Friday, August 1 through Sunday, August 3.

That makes it a great time to start that back to school shopping, if you haven't started yet.

According to the National Retail Federation, last year parents spent an average of $634.78, and they're expected to spend even more this year on back-to-school shopping.

On average, their spending will go up 5 percent this year, to $669.28.

School supplies selling for $20 or less per item, backpacks under $60 and clothing and shoes selling for $100 or less per item will be exempt from the state sales tax this weekend.

Adam Jamison, general manager of Staples at Tanglewood Mall, says popular movies and TV shows often dictate what's popular in the classroom.

The Teen Vogue collection should be a big seller, he says.

Character backpacks and supplies are also expected to be popular this season, along with electronics, like iPads.

For details on the items that qualify for Virginia's sales tax holiday this weekend, click here.  You can also click here for what items are included in the sales tax holiday.

The Better Business Bureau also warns shoppers to be cautious during this busy buying season, and watch out for potential identity theft threats.

Among its recommendations for on-line shopping, install a pop-up blocker on your browser, make sure your electronic devices have updated security measures and only used secured sites.

When shopping in stores, the BBB suggest setting a budget, checking stores' refund and exchange policies and setting up email alerts for your favorite stores.

Many local stores will continue running  special back-to-school deals in the next few weeks.

In next week's Early Years, WDBJ7's Kimberly McBroom will try to find the best prices on school supplies in our area, while shopping for her own children.